(3:35 p.m. EDT) -- Windstar has named travel expert Wendy Perrin godmother to Star Breeze, the ex-Seabourn ship that will re-launch for Windstar in 2015. The 212-passenger ship will undergo an $8.5 million renovation in Italy before its christening in Nice on May 6.
Wendy Perrin has a long career in the travel world and is no stranger to cruising. She spent two decades at Conde Nast Traveler before founding WendyPerrin.com, a travel advice website. Perrin also serves as Travel Advocate for TripAdvisor (Cruise Critic's parent company).
At a press conference at Cruise Shipping Miami, Perrin said Windstar is one of the first lines she ever cruised with back in the early '90s. "I've hosted awards and led events before, but to me, being the godmother of a ship is a really meaningful thing," she said. So how will her role as godmother differ from some of the other travel hats she's worn? "Traditionally, you're guaranteeing safe passage for the ship, so it puts pressure on you," Perrin said. "But I'll do my best!"
Star Breeze (originally known as Seabourn Spirit) will receive a complete makeover in April, including new furnishings and finishings in public areas, restaurants and cabins. Some highlights include Owner's Suites themed to different Windstar cruise destinations, a water sports platform, a screening room for watching movies and playing video games and four dining venues (including a formal dining room that incorporates local dishes, two buffets and an alfresco dinner venue with a steakhouse menu).
Star Breeze joins Star Pride (which joined the fleet in May 2014) and Star Legend (which will be christened in late May 2015) to expand the Windstar fleet. Unlike Windstar's original trio of motorized sailing yachts, the new additions are small cruise ships without sails. Star Breeze will offer cruises in the Mediterranean.
--by Erica Silverstein, Senior Editor, with additional reporting by Ashley Kosciolek, Ports & Copy Editor